Iranian security forces arrest niece of Ayatollah Khamenei

1/16/2022 7:19:00 PM

Farideh Moradkhani, an activist who campaigns to abolish the death penalty, spoke out in favour of the ousted pro-Western royal family

Middle East, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Farideh Moradkhani, an activist who campaigns to abolish the death penalty, spoke out in favour of the ousted pro-Western royal family

Farideh Moradkhani, an activist who campaigns to abolish the death penalty, spoke out in favour of the ousted pro-Western royal family

Read more: The Telegraph »

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Iranian security forces have arrested the niece of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after she spoke out in favour of the ousted pro-Western royal family.call in help from a Russian-led military bloc .call in help from a Russian-led military bloc .More than 2,000 troops were sent at the request of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Farideh Moradkhani, an activist who campaigns for the abolition of the death penalty, was detained on Friday outside her house and taken to the notorious Evin prison, according to the the Human Rights Activists’ News Agency of Iran (HRANA). The 35-year-old has been a thorn in the side of Ayatollah Khamenei’s family for many years, campaigning for liberal causes that rub against the strict theocracy imposed on the nation by her uncle. Kazakhstan had previously acknowledged fewer than 50 fatalities – 26 “armed criminals” and 18 security officers – from a conflict that exposed infighting at the top of the government. “Security forces searched Ms Mordakhani’s residence and took away many of her personal belongings. A higher death toll of 164 appeared on an official Telegram channel last week but was quickly retracted. She has now called her family and informed them that she is being held in Ward 209 of Evin political prions”, HRANA said in a statement. Asel Artakshinova, a spokeswoman for the health ministry, said that more than 2,600 people had sought treatment at hospitals, with 67 remaining in a serious condition. No charges have been brought against her yet, it added.

Her arrest comes amid a growing clampdown on dissent as Iran’s economy falters under heavy US sanctions. They have not provided evidence about who the alleged foreign bandits and terrorists were. They have not provided evidence about who the alleged foreign bandits and terrorists were. Exiled Iranian sources told the Telegraph that the probable cause for Ms Moradkhani’s detention was her statement of support for Iran’s old royal family, overthrown in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. In an online event in October with former Queen Farah Diba, the widow of the last Shah, Ms Moradkhani praised the ex-royal as “mother of the nation” while celebrating her birthday. Much of the popular anger has appeared directed at Nazarbayev , who is 81 and had ruled Kazakhstan since 1989 before handing over power. “We wanted to offer you a birthday present but thought the best present would be our hearts to welcome you back to our country. Tokayev this week launched an unprecedented attack on Nazarbayev, saying his mentor had failed to share the country’s vast wealth with ordinary Kazakhs. Since your departure the flowers of our nation have weathered, and our young generation have lived in despair,” she said. On Saturday, the sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna said two of Nazarbayev’s relatives, Dimash Dosanov and Kairat Sharipbayev, had lost their jobs at the helm of energy companies.

“We live in a parentless country, but I am certain that one day you will come back and will bring light and love to all of us in Iran” she added in the Live Zoom event. The official website of Ayatollah Khamenei published an editorial last week criticising rising levels of nostalgia for the era of the pro-Western Shah. Sharipbayev, 58, is widely believed to be the husband of Nazarbayev’s oldest daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva. Sharipbayev, 58, is widely believed to be the husband of Nazarbayev’s oldest daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva. “Many Iranians now think that the rule of the Shah resembled the beauty and the Islamic Republic has been the Beast for the last 42 years,” it read, scornfully. 'Incompetence undermined faith in clerical system' Iran’s deputy interior minister, Taghi Rostamvand, said Sunday that the inability of president Ebrahim Raisi’s government to solve the country’s numerous problems “has led to the general belief among the public that a clerical system of governance is completely incapable of running the country’s affairs and only a secular regime can do that”. Dosanov, 40, is the husband of Nazarbayev’s youngest daughter, Aliya Nazarbayeva, 41, and was the head of the national oil transporter KazTransOil. Iranians have protested against water shortages in recent months amid growing unhappiness at the failure of Mr Raisi's government to shore up the falling value of the Iranian rial. Tokayev has in part blamed QazaqGaz for the historic crisis, which started with a spike in prices for liquified petroleum gas, a popular fuel, sparking the peaceful protests at the start of January.

Ms Moradkhani’s mother is the sister of Ayatollah Khamenei, who has crushed liberal protests against his rule since taking office in 1989. Nazarbayev has three daughters. Lately he has sought to undo one of the world’s most successful campaigns to lower birth rates, calling on citizens to have as many children as possible while clamping down on abortion and previously free distribution of contraceptives. Ms Moradkhani's father, Ali Tehrani, took his family into exile in Iraq in the 1990s after opposing Mr Khamenei’s “despotic rule”, in particular the mass execution of prisoners. Together the pair control Kazakhstan’s largest commercial bank, Halyk. Together the pair control Kazakhstan’s largest commercial bank, Halyk. He later returned and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The 209 Ward in Evin prison, where Ms Moradkhani is reportedly being held, is reserved for political prisoners and human rights organisations have documented torture in its solitary cells.

British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe suffered a breakdown after being held there for several months. The administration of President Joe Biden has prioritised returning Iran into compliance with the deal limiting its ability to develop a nuclear weapon signed in 2015, but talks with Mr Raisi’s government have faltered. .